The ENFP personality type is one of the 16 different types identified by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). People with this type of personality are often described as enthusiastic, charismatic, and creative. Psychologist David Keirsey suggests that ENFPs account for approximately three to four percent the population.
The MBTI looks at personality in four key areas: 1) Extraversion and Introversion, 2) Sensing and Intuition, 3) Thinking and Feeling and 4) Perceiving and Judging. As you can see, the ENFP acronym stands for Extraverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Perceiving.
- Extraversion: ENFPs love to interact with lots of people. Socializing helps them to feel energized and renewed.
- Intuition: ENFPs generally focus on the world of possibilities. They are good at abstract thinking and prefer not to concentrate on the tiny details. They are inventive and focused on the future.
- Feeling: When making decisions, ENFPs place a greater value on feelings and values rather than on logic and objective criteria. They tend to follow their heart, empathize with others, and let their emotions guide their decisions.
- Perceiving: ENFPs are flexible and like to keep their options open. They can be spontaneous and are highly adaptable to change. They also dislike routine and may have problems with disorganization and procrastination.
Some common ENFP characteristics include:
- Warm and enthusiastic
- Empathetic and caring
- Strong people skills; relates well to others
- Able to think abstractly and understand difficult, complex concepts
- Needs approval from others
- Strong communication skills
- Fun and spontaneous
- Highly creative
ENFPs are extraverts, which means that they love spending time with other people. Socializing actually gives them more energy, helping them to feel renewed, refreshed, and excited about life. While other types of extraverts tend to dislike solitude, ENFPs do have a need for some alone time in order to think and reflect.
Psychologist David Keirsey identifies ENFPs as "Champions," which he suggests are rather rare. "Champions can be tireless in talking with others, like fountains that bubble and splash, spilling over their own words to get it all out," Keirsey suggests. "And usually this is not simple storytelling; Champions often speak (or write) in the hope of revealing some truth about human experience, or of motivating others with their powerful convictions."
They also have excellent people skills. In addition to having an abundance of enthusiasm, they also genuinely care about others. ENFPs are good at understanding what other people are feeling. Given their zeal, charisma, and creativity, they can also make great leaders.
People with this personality type strongly dislike routine and prefer to focus on the future. While they are great at generating new ideas, they sometimes put off important tasks until the last minute. Dreaming up ideas but not seeing them through to completion is a common problem. ENFPs can also become easily distracted, particularly when they are working on something that seems boring or uninspiring.
Famous People With ENFP Personalities
Some experts have suggested that the following famous figures display characteristics of the ENFP personality type:
- Andy Kaufmann, comedian
- Bob Dylan, singer/songwriter
- Charles Dickins, author
- Dr. Seuss, children's author
- Robin Williams, actor
- Will Smith, actor
- Charlotte Bronte, author
Best Career Choices for ENFPs
When choosing a career path, it is a good idea for people to understand the potential strengths and weaknesses of their personality type. People with the ENFP personality type do best in jobs that offer a lot of flexibility. Because they are empathetic and interested in people, they often do well in service-oriented careers. They should avoid careers that involve completing a lot of detailed, routine tasks. Some career options that might appeal to an ENFP include:
- TV Anchor/Reporter
- Social Worker
Heiss, M. M. (2011). Extraverted iNtuitive Feeling Perceiving. TypeLogic. Retrieved from http://typelogic.com/enfp.html
Keirsey, D. (n.d.). Idealist: Portrait of the Champion. Adapted from Please Understand Me II. Retrieved from http://www.keirsey.com/4temps/champion.asp
Myers, I. B. (1998). Introduction to Type: A Guide to Understanding your Results on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Mountain View, CA: CPP, Inc.
The Myers & Briggs Foundation. (n.d.). The 16 MBTI Types. Retrieved from http://www.myersbriggs.org/my-mbti-personality-type/mbti-basics/the-16-mbti-types.asp